We have been traveling for more than twenty years. I have traveled by myself, with TwoMonkeyme, with LittleMonkeyme or with the three of us together. Except running from a crazy guy in a bar in Hongkong and missing our train stop at 11:00 pm in Italy, most of my problems have been with immigration officials trying to deny me entry into their wonderful countries.
We did have some big problems dealing with our guests, as we owned a Hostel for budget travelers. Things such as people who ran away without paying their bills; scammers; or others who made up stories so they could get insurance money.
I have heard a lot of horror stories though. When I was in Kho Phi Phi, Thailand a solo female traveler was raped and murdered. The guesthouse I stayed in Manila had a flyer about another solo female traveler being raped and murdered by her tricycle driver.
I have never been robbed or pickpocket, maybe because I look like a Monkey. I do however, get subjected to scrutiny and interrogation by immigration when visiting so - called "first world" countries. Saying all this, I do take precautions when traveling, especially when traveling as 3Monkeys:
1. Less cash is better:
Just carry enough cash for emergencies. Always use credit cards for purchases and only at reputable travel agencies. Your credit card company will help you investigate if there are dodgy charges on your account. Use a money belt to secure your valuables. Divide and put your cash in every available pocket you have. Diversify - do not put all your eggs in one basket.
2. Before leaving home:
Copy everything - your passport, credit card, insurance, driver's license, etc. Again, diversify. Keep one or two copies at home that are easy to find in case you need to call someone for a copy. Keep one in your money belt, one in your luggage, one n your backpack, and one in your pocket. It is also a good idea to take pictures to save in your camera or phone so you can access them on the internet.
3. Let people you know where you going:
Keep in touch with your family and friends on social media so they will have an idea what you're up to. Let them know if they haven't heard from you for more than a week, to call the marines or the local embassy, especially if you are going to an unfriendly environment. Keep in touch with your embassy if you are in trouble.
4. Always bargain:
It is always a good idea to try to bargain for everything; especially in the poorer countries. This will let scammers or would be robber know that you are not worth their enterprising time. But please do not overdo it and follow local customs.
5. Be a local:
Respect the local way of life. Be polite and leave your political views at home. Understand the culture and way of life. Blend in! Do not engage in drugs or other criminal activities. Avoid heated discussions and insisting on your own point of view. Be aware of the local health situation.
6. Get Travel Insurance:
I had never bought a travel insurance until recently. I have never had any problem but you never know. Life is always unpredictable so please get some so you travel worry free.
7. Be Aware of your surroundings:
Whenever I am in new surroundings, I always try to be aware of any eventualities. If you are in a busy environment with many people, be aware of pickpockets, terrorists, craziness, etc. Also make it a point to check all the exits of your hotel, guesthouse in case of fire, earthquake, etc. Be aware, but do not be paranoid. Believe me, I've been there.
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